Comparing Corn Syrup to Cane Sugar
|By Michael Angelo, Senior Editor on Tuesday, September 20, 2011|
|Corn sugar is said to be unhealthy, unnatural and a cheap alternative to real sugar. Find out if cane sugar is really a better choice for sweetening foods.||
One of the most important things that people look into when preparing or buying food is the taste. Whatever it is that’s being cooked or store-bought should be tasty and not bland. This gives folks the appetite to eat the edible items that are served to them.
Take sweeteners for example. These are highly important to the public because they are used in a wide array of purposes. Sadly, however, there is an issue about the sweeteners used in today's food production and manufacturing process. As most would know, instead of using real sugar, most food products bought, sold and manufactured in the United States use high fructose corn syrup in its place.
For the most part, though, it's all about the prices. Production of real sugar in the US is regulated and governed, while there are also large import tariffs on sugar from other parts of the world. This pushes the costs of natural, cane sugar to skyrocket in the American marketplace. High fructose corn syrup, otherwise known as corn sugar, serves as an excellent and efficient alternative, providing the same amount of sweetness and quality, for much lower rates.
However, a lot of critics tend to point out that corn syrup is more harmful than regular sugar. HCFS is highly processed to achieve the sweet taste and to give it a longer shelf life. This, in turn forces corn sugar to contain more harmful ingredients. Some even cite that corn syrup multiplies the carbonyl compounds by ten times in soda, which, of course, tend to scare people away.
The most harrowing argument that natural sugar proponents say about HCFS, though, is that it contributes largely to obesity and contraction of diabetes. Everyone knows how big of an issue these two things are, making the prevalent use of corn syrup quite controversial.
On the other hand, however, corn syrup is more convenient, as stated above. It's already widely used in the market today because it's easily available and cheaper. The use of the HCFS makes it possible for the general public to afford products from stores, which is its strongest point. By lowering the costs to produce sweet foods, corn sugar is, in effect, feeding families and individuals who would otherwise not be able to get said foods.
A great number of health concerned groups and individuals say that the use of real sugar is a better option. They point out that real sugar is made more naturally, albeit also processed, which means that it doesn’t use as much chemicals and other processes to achieve the finished product. This seems to make people think that it's a safer and better option. But then again, its price tends to overshadow its good qualities, leaving people with no choice but to find a suitable substitute. Its availability is also a great problem, with HCFS mostly being the primary sweetening ingredient used nowadays.
But is it really better to choose regular sugar over HCFS? Both sweetening agents have its own pros and cons, as briefly stated above, so can it be possible to tell which one is better? Before you go ahead and choose, though, it should be noted that there claims to corn syrup contributing to obesity have a great amount of counter arguments. According to some studies, there is no concrete evidence that HCFS is to blame for such health issues, which are also very likely to occur even with the use of real and regular sugar. Add to this the point that, as numerous research and studies say, obesity and diabetes are two multi-faceted health problems. The claims could be true about HCFS contributing to them, but there are always other reasons like the patient’s metabolism, genetics and lifestyle.
Like the many other occasions that will need you to make a decision, choosing between HCFS and real sugar is entirely up to you and your preferences. An expert or medical professional could tell you one thing, while another can go against it without a fuss, which could leave you even more confused than before. Putting your priorities forward is the best technique and is highly important, so looking at what these options can offer can give you a good idea at choosing.
Most people say that natural is better, but in most cases, it's all about how you take it. According to the mentioned points above and the numerous studies available to the public today, it's more about how often and how much sugar you ingest rather than what it is that you’re actually taking. Having a fairly controlled amount of HCFS doesn't seem to be any better or worse for you than the same amount of sugar over an extended period of time. Clearly, more research regarding the safety and long term effects of corn sugar is needed, as is research into the average daily amounts of sugars people are eating in general; however, until sugar cane advocates can produce a smoking gun, HFCS will remain a suitable and efficient substitute for cane sugar.
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